RIP Jeff Beck

June 24, 1944 – January 11, 2023

Jeff Beck and Les Paul shared a very special and long friendship. When Jeff Beck inducted Les into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Les jokingly had Jeff’s notes projected onto a big screen so that Jeff would have to “wing” it from the stage. After Les’ death Jeff performed at the Iridium in New York as a special tribute to his friend which became “Jeff Beck’s Rock and Roll Party for Les.” This was a remarkable friendship between two remarkable men built on a mutual respect and fondness for each other. The music world lost a giant today. Rest in Peace friend…we hope Les and you are jamming in the heavens.

Les Paul: Inventor, Musician, Educator, Legend

Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. Like Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs changed their worlds, Les Paul changed the world of music. He was the creator of the solid-body electric guitar, multi-track recording, echo, over-dubbing and other musical technologies. Les never stopped exploring and his curiosity led to innovations that musicians still use today. He is known as the “Father of Modern Music” and the “Wizard of Waukesha.” Famous musicians, producers and engineers alike owe their careers to Les Paul and to this day, pay homage to him. Every time we hear an electric guitar shred or download our favorite music, we owe it to Les Paul. 

The Inventor

Acclaimed as the “Father of Modern Music”, Les Paul is known for numerous inventions that changed both the individual lives of musicians and the mechanics of the music industry in the twentieth century. His influence is still profound, having been a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar as well as numerous techniques including multi-track recording, digital delay, reverb, and more.

The Musician

Les Paul’s technological wizardry and inventions transformed the music industry. His legacy as a consummate musician has had a global impact on countless artists from Paul McCartney, Eddie Van Halen, and Slash to Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, and Chet Atkins. Les’ musical technique and virtuosic playing extended across all genres including jazz, country, R&B, and Rock. His multi-generational influence and contributions speak to his status as a legendary artist.

Education

Les Paul created the Les Paul Foundation in 1995 to extend his spirit of innovation through grants to educational organizations and institutions including, Little Kids Rock, Soulsville Foundation/Stax Music Academy, Notes for Notes, Guitars For Vets, and many others.

The Foundation

The Les Paul Foundation inspires innovative and creative thinking by sharing the legacy of Les Paul through support of music education, recording, innovation and medical research related to hearing. It’s also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizard of Waukesha. Click here to see the list of our grantees and to apply for grants.

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